Frome Town (0) 1 Bath City (2) 4 – Tuesday 6 July 2021 – Pre-Season Friendly – Badgers Hill
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
Cody Cooke replicated Alex Fletcher’s weekend exploits by notching a hat-trick in City’s midweek mauling of Frome Town.
The Robins posed more of a threat than their divisional rivals Larkhall and deserved their late consolation through former City Academy man Martin Lenihan.
But by then they were four goals down as Cooke’s treble and Jordan Williams’ strike gave Jerry Gill’s men a comfortable success, after what the manager described as a slow start.
“I thought we were really leggy in the first half,” said Gill. “We lacked intensity with and without the ball. I said to them to not beat themselves up about it. We’ve all had games, I’ve had them, in pre-season when you don’t feel as good as you normally would because you’re in the middle of doing some intense conditioning work. Frome were a better challenge than Larkhall. They kept the ball well at times, we decided to sit off because we will have to in our league at times. We’ve more or less gone with the same XI as Saturday so the demands on them are quite high. Second half we were a bit better. We changed our shape and it’s pleasing to get four goals.”
After Cooke’s first half double, Williams got in on the act in the second, neatly firing across James Carey after Tom Smith played him through.
Cooke rounded off Bath’s scoring having rounded Carey and slotted home from a near impossible angle tight to the byline.
At the other end, Will Fuller made four fine saves before he was powerless to prevent Lenihan hammering home the final goal of the match.
Gill confirmed England under 19 international Coniah Boyce-Clarke will add further competition for the remaining friendlies. The 6’3 goalkeeper is currently on Reading’s books.
“I thought Will was great,” said Gill. “He’s done fine while Ryan Clarke’s out. He’s staking a claim for a place despite another goalkeeper possibly available for Saturday. For Jordan I think there’s still a lot of work for him to do defensively, I expect he prefers to play wing-back than full-back but it’s a system we might have to go with sometimes. He’s good at crossing the ball, he likes to get high up the pitch. Overall he’s done well. We’ll keep working with him and decide at the end of pre-season.”
Omar Holness limped off with a tight hamstring, leaving City with 10 men for the closing stages, but Gill believes he and Dan Ball, who came off at half-time feeling concussed, will be fit for Saturday’s match against Championship outfit Cardiff City.
Experienced Bluebirds boss Mick McCarthy is expected to bring a strong squad to Twerton Park for a sell-out 830 crowd, the first time fans have attended a match at the stadium since March last year.
“I played golf with Marlon Pack on Sunday – he told me they were bringing their first team over,” Gill confirmed. “They’ll probably have two XIs. When you come up against a Championship team you know what you’re going to get. Mick McCarthy’s teams are always big and strong but they can keep the ball as well. They have lots of very good players. We’ll have moments where we’re not on the ball and we’ll have to deal with that. It’s the first time a few of our players have played in front of a crowd like that expected at Twerton Park for a long time and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”
City’s Line-Up: Fuller, Jones, Williams, James (Z Smith 52), Gerring (c) (Barnard 67), Ball (Richards HT), Harley (Neilson 57), Holness, Cooke, T Smith, Fletcher. Sub not used: Wilkinson.
Scorers: City – Cooke (13, 40, 75), Williams (63); Frome – Lenihan (78)
Referee: D Lamport